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Old 10-27-2015, 10:03 PM   #1
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Keeping motivation high

Sometimes, especially when projects go very awry, I develop a problem with motivation. We are going through every system on the boat we bought so that it is ready in about a year. I do not want to put off any of the projects to the last minute, but making myself crawl through the bilge one more time becomes difficult. Just using the bilge as an example. How do you stay motivated?

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Old 10-27-2015, 10:07 PM   #2
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Focus on one thing. Get that done, then tackle the next. Don't think of the big picture, just the job at hand

Remember you can only eat an elephant one bite at a time.

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Old 10-28-2015, 05:59 AM   #3
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We used the "easy button" and every time one of us finished a job we would hit it. "That was easy!"
That would always make us laugh no matter how long that "10 minute job" took.
Jay Leonard
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Old 10-28-2015, 06:19 AM   #4
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If you purchased a project boat then you had to have known what you are getting into. When one job on your list is complete be happy with that, take a break and dig into the next one.

Motivation can also be an issue when cruising on a well maintained boat. We had a fuel leak recently and had to pull into a marina to fix it. I generally do all the maintainence on the boat so when I was down in the bilge trying to maneuver my 65 yo body in places it could not, I gave serious thought to hiring this out, which I did for part of the repair. Motivation was never a problem, frustration sometimes is. A day later and half a bottle of Advil and I'm ready to go.
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Old 10-28-2015, 06:49 AM   #5
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I done the "refit" thing on previous boats and on the current one, am "making her mine". The big difference is being able to use the current boat between projects. Even a day cruise will bring back the dream of why we go through all the pain. So I suggest you get her "useable" first and then make her pretty and comfortable. We leave for Florida and beyond Monday. I have just cut a center hatch in the middle of the salon/saloon and will not be able to redo the flooring before we leave. I will take everything with me and do a little each day while we cruise. So if you hear a skill saw cruising by with a good looking lady at the helm, it is just me....living the dream.
You never really learn to swear until you become a boat owner!
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Old 10-28-2015, 07:20 AM   #6
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I agree that frustration may be as much the problem as motivation. I guess there is a difference in the two words, but sometimes the results are very similar.

This is definitely not my first rodeo on boat rehab. Maybe this 66 YO body is also sneaking into the equation. However, when I do finish a project, such as now having a nice clean bilge, I feel just as satisfied as on the first boat project we had so many years ago.
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Old 10-28-2015, 07:30 AM   #7
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coffee is my primary motivator!
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Old 10-28-2015, 07:34 AM   #8
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Never, never, never, make a list of ALL the things you plan to do. It just looks too overwhelming for words. Working on some larger project if frustration sets in I always have some little thing I can work on. Finish the little thing and then back to the frustrating project. That way at the end of a day I can say well that got done even if the big project turns into weeks a few little jobs finished in between keeps one feeling like there is progress.
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Old 10-28-2015, 08:11 AM   #9
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b&b, - I know how you feel. It can get overwhelming, especially if you have multiple projects on the go at various stages of (in)completion. The boat looks like a workshop, and there is no end in sight.

I know it makes sense to sometimes do project together, (like replacing fuel tanks while replacing engine) but usually I try to complete one task before starting the next. And before starting the next, - get out and enjoy your boat.
Even if it isn't ready to go o sea, clean up and put away your tools, and make it look ready. Enjoy a night or two at the dock with Mrs b&b and a nice bottle of wine.
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Old 10-28-2015, 08:18 AM   #10
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I like to get rolling with something small and easy. Once I'm in the zone, I can tackle anything.

If I can't get the small easy thing done, I take the day off.
Al Johnson
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Old 10-28-2015, 08:25 AM   #11
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Been there done it..... boats, construction projects and so on. A lot of good advice above, some of it contradicting, and that's because everyone is different.

I DO list it ALL. Then I prioritize it, and look for phases that complement each other. (If you remove something, take care of whatever is now accessible.) I proceed methodically and re-prioritize and add/subtract from the list as I go along.

My most important tool to help me not hit "the wall" is to be fastidious. I probably spend as much time cleaning/organizing as I do actually working. This does a few things for me. First, I can still see the boat through the project, and if I squint I can see it done, and "hear" the motor(s) purring and the water rushing by the hull. Second, it's all a lot easier to oversee if materials and tools are organized. When it all turns into one big blob it can be overwhelming.

Once a friend was fixing up a rental house he bought after a flood and he was complaining he hit the wall. There was something going on in every room, and there were tools, materials and refuse everywhere. I told him what to do, and in about four hours the place was spotless, with all the tools on the floor, lined up, and all materials sorted and properly stacked. He took a step back, redid the lists, and said: "OK, now we continue here...." A week later it was done.

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Currently boatless but looking. Avatar is my first boat....Holland, 1965 ish.....
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Old 10-28-2015, 09:15 AM   #12
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I just sorta fall into it. Sorta fast and sorta slow. Getting started sometimes needs some motivation but once I get into it I get emersed. Then I think and do little else. Especially the think part. Lots of the regular life stuff gets ignored. But when the landlord comes for the rent wearing his gun I take notice but then I've lost my checkbook and wrote the last check a week ago.

Re getting the boat ready this spring one thing led to another and it was fall before she was ready to cruise. Worked hard on the boat but then domestic jobs couldn't be ignored any longer and I'd work hard on those so I could get back to the boat. An ongoing cycle. Often I think I need to simplify my life. Whatever happened to the corn cob pipe down the river on the houseboat? I have the straw hat to ward off skin cancer .. haha. What ever happened to the easy life of being retired? I gotta get closer to the rock'in chair and the houseboat. Could an OB boat be the answer? That would simplify my life considerably.

So motivation wise I start thinking about a project and that leads to more thinking. And that leads me out to the garage and soon things are happening and that leads to "on a mission" activity.

North Western Washington State USA
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Old 10-28-2015, 09:16 AM   #13
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The last two posts by Messrs. Al and o combined are the most successful approaches mentioned thus far and the KEY to any motivational conundrum IMO.
Some days, progress on that ongoing locker rebuild just isn't going to happen BUT just maybe this would be a good day to repair or adjust that door that keeps popping open or organize one's tool cabinet. One more thing off the "to do list".
I can empathize with Mr. o. Sometimes I think I spend more time cleaning up than actually doing a job. One thing I've found to be beneficial is a small tote tray in which I put all of the smaller tools and materials in that I think I may need.

The tray minimizes clutter about the work site, saves steps, is a good place to put removed parts or small scraps/garbage bits and makes clean up a lot faster and easier.
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Old 10-28-2015, 09:18 AM   #14
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Hang in there . One area at a time is good advice . I must be a glutton for punishment .This is some of my project history:

1.refurbished 1975 pearson 26' sailboat
2. completly reworked/ refurbished 1965 islander sailboat .This one took seven years in my backyard ( insufficent funds added some time to the project) sometimes it would stay covered up for 3 months without any work being done .
3.The house that we are in now is over 100 years old and we have restored / rebuilt 75% of it . Two years before we could move in
4. Current boat . Completly rebuilt the interior with all new mahogany .Exteror new teak caprail and new teak doors ,new paint and some mechanical stuff. This has been a three year project and still going on .
Future : I'm looking at a boat now that would probably do me in.
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Old 10-28-2015, 09:49 AM   #15
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When I did som extensive work I got into places not seen by a human since the boat was built. Good thing too as problems were found and fixed before they became a big deal. When you are done you will have confidence that everything you did was done to your satisfaction and more importantly there are no hidden sins lurking to bite you.
Getting started each day sometimes was difficult. I set a plan of starting early or not at all for that day. Some days are needed for R&R or getting parts or other stuff. I found if I did anything except start to work right away I was better off to just do something else that day.
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Old 10-28-2015, 11:34 AM   #16
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At my age (79) I just don't have the endurance I used to have, ergo, one task a day. I'm lookin' forward to changin' the oil in my two Volvos come February 2nd, my 80th birthday. On a boat it ain't work, it's fun.
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Old 10-28-2015, 12:42 PM   #17
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I got a lil' devil on one shoulder saying: 'take a nap', 'it'll still be there tomorrow', 'oh you'll get to it eventually.' Then I have my Grandpa on the other shoulder saying: 'If you don't do it Laddie Buck nobody else will do it for you!' and then he proceeds to go over to the devil and kick his ass!

Diversions are good. A few hours here, a couple there. Allows you time to decompress and reformulate your priorities. I prefer the 'one lil' bite at a time' approach.

I'm 5 seasons (2-1/2 yrs of actual work) into my project. Motivation is always an issue. Great thread topic.

Good luck with your project.
Yours Aye! Rick
"It's not the boat "you built" until you've sworn at it, bled on it, sweated over it, cried beside it and then threatened to haul the POS outside and burn it!"
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Old 10-28-2015, 03:01 PM   #18
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Seems the best motivation is to invite friends or family out on the boat. Even if you are just sitting at the dock for cocktails. You will be motivated to get it ready for them to arrive. This was my motivation for getting the black water holding tank replaced this past month. 2 day job that now seems like an easy project, now that it is done...
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Old 10-28-2015, 03:21 PM   #19
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Yes, getting to know your boat is one of the rewards, and in a way a motivator for working on your own boat. On the sailboat I had I could find every one of 9 through hulls in the dark with my eyes closed, as well as every battery switch.
Currently boatless but looking. Avatar is my first boat....Holland, 1965 ish.....
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Old 10-28-2015, 05:23 PM   #20
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I believe it is a good thing to take a breather when a conundrum comes up. I've found if I plow on and try to "finish" the job invariably I've missed some component that's critical. Now, when I'm tired I take that to mean STOP.

Tomorrow is a new day and in the meantime I'll ponder.

Like others, being organized is a Key Component. I put everything away before I tackle a job. Whatever it is, be it the monthly battery checks or writing an article for my website... things are tidy First. Chaos is my enemy.

That's not to say I cannot lose stuff. I just lost six screws (for a switch I Started wiring two months ago) so had to buy replacements. Twice. Because the first set were too large (needed size 4 and bought 6)

It is difficult to stay motivated when Everything seems to be a barrier to progress. Job Creep is alive and well aboard Seaweed. And sometimes it's time to call in a new professional. I did that today.

Janice aboard Seaweed, living the good life afloat...
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